Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Real Leader--by Linden Malki

The Real Leader

We do not do Reality well.  Jesus does;  He is the most real person there is.

After they had had several years of literally following Jesus, He asked his crew who people thought He is.  Basically, people were wrong.  When He asked them what they thought, they got the words right.  The next question is:  What does it really mean? He explained that the answer had been around for a long time: Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53 had it nailed.  Peter's response (Mark 8:31-33) showed how little he was dealing with the reality of Jesus.

Jesus kept trying--after the Transfiguration experience, He tried again (Mark 9:30-32), and the guys didn't get it, and Jesus found them arguing about their own "greatness".

The third recorded try was after the discussion with the rich young ruler who said he wanted "eternal life" --but not on Jesus' terms.  As they continued walking to Jerusalem, Jesus was telling them what was really going to happen next, and again, they had their heads full of their own dreams. Mark 10:35 describes James' and John's wish; Matthew 20:20-23 brings in the Jewish mama who wants the best for her boys, and Luke 22:24-27 depicts everyone getting into the act.  But still, they are having a problem with Jesus' reality.

Finally, Jesus shows them what His calling to leadership really is. The last time they are together before Jesus' prophecies become reality, we see Him kneeling on the floor with a basin of water, washing their feet. (John 13:4-15)  It goes back to His picture of the shepherd--the shepherd is in charge of the sheep; but the sheep are not capable of taking care of themselves. The shepherd leads them by serving them; knowing better than they do what they really need.

We still struggle with reality. We want what we want;  but the best leaders know how to serve in the way that truly has our best interests at heart. Jesus spent his efforts leading His followers where He knows they needed to be; and they changed the world.  Can we recognize Jesus' fundamental reality?

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